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Reader's View: Protecting communities from protesters is pricey

Dozens, if not hundreds, of officers from the state and neighboring counties headed to Park Rapids, Minnesota, forcing them to leave the communities they are supposed to be protecting to assist with the alarming situation at the pump station.

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On June 7, I was shocked to see hundreds of protesters break into a pump station, threaten and try to not let workers leave, dismantle wiring on equipment, vandalize structures, and damage work sites in their attempts to shut down construction of the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.

It was disturbing to see the massive police and first-responder presence that was required to respond to these dangerous actions by protesters. Dozens, if not hundreds, of officers from the state and neighboring counties headed to Park Rapids, Minnesota, forcing them to leave the communities they are supposed to be protecting to assist with the alarming situation at the pump station.

While face to face with the emergency responders going above and beyond their duty to their towns, the protesters were complaining about the escrow account that was set up to fund these sorts of necessary police responses.

Can you imagine that thought process?

So, not only are pipeline protesters seemingly comfortable with the fact that they are pulling these emergency responders from working within their own communities, they (most of them appearing to be from outside of Minnesota) apparently would rather people who live and work in northern Minnesota foot the bill for their protest.

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I for one am grateful that this escrow account was set up to protect surrounding communities from having to raise taxes or cut spending elsewhere because of these ridiculous, risky protests.

Dave Lange

Hill City, Minnesota

The writer is an elected city councilor in Hill City.


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